Response Paper Phil 201

In: Philosophy and Psychology

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A Response to the Article:
"On Being An Atheist" by H. J. McCloskey

Joshua Cottrell

PHIL 201-D32
Professor Pensgard
August 12, 2013

The belief in a Creator and a literal God has been a subject of many arguments down through the centuries. Despite a written record and a large contingency of believers, there has arose a strong group of people who believe there is no God and that man just happens to exist and that there is nothing beyond this life. In 1968 H.J. McCloskey published an article entitled "On Being an Atheist". He argued that theories such as the Cosmological or Teleological arguments did nothing to prove in his mind the presence of God. He strongly believed that evil further cemented the idea that a righteous God did not exist. With his writing he attempted to empower the atheist and once and for all prove that God did not exist.
I. "Proofs" McCloskey indentified theistic arguments for God as "proofs", and in so doing opened himself up to much scrutiny. He quotes a colleague as saying "...most theists do not come to believe in God by reflecting on the proofs, but to come to religion as a result of other reasons and factors." I do not believe that his colleague was referring necessarily to Cosmological or Teleological arguments as "proofs", as McCloskey ends of doing. I believe his associate was merely stating that most people do not come to religion because they see the sky and think there must be a Creator. There are a number of factor that bring people to the community of religious faith. It may be that someone was raised in a home that required them to go to church. Another may have had a grandmother that exposed them to Biblical virtues. McCloskey misunderstands the basis for the arguments he refers to as "proofs". Obviously an argument can be contradicted based on the rationale of the person making the argument or…...

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